Girls Soccer takes 3rd at State

Rachel Kaplan

As rain poured down, a small contingent of loyal fans cheered on the girl’s soccer team in their first state soccer game against St. Michael-Albertville, putting up with soaked sweatshirts, frozen toes, and chattering teeth. Even more withstanding than the fans, however, was the team its self, who successfully held off the Knights during regulation time and double overtime, beating out STMA in a nail-biting shootout 4-3.
As the first half went on, it became clear that the two teams were extremely well matched, neither Knights or Red Knights getting many scoring opportunities. “We knew that STMA was very fast…STMA was a very good team,” Coach Scott Helling-Christy said.
Throughout the entire game there were only 11 shots on goal from each team. “We played well, but we could have played better,” junior Maddie Bergh said. Although St. Michael-Albertville got more fast break opportunities, BSM’s defense remained solid. “We’re mainly a defensive team,” Captain Maddie Jobe said. In fact, in a total of 22 games this season, BSM has only given up 8 total goals. Their strategy is to wear down teams and take advantage of scoring opportunities.
Maddie Jobe, BSM’s goalie, had 3 successful saves and Alex Schissel made a game-saving block in the second half; when Jobe was forced onto the ground and out of the goal to make a save, Schissel came out of nowhere to block the ball that was inches from the middle of the net. “She definitely saved us in that play,” said junior Kelsey Myhre. The Red Knights played strong throughout the entire regulation time and two ten-minute overtime halves even when dealing with 38 degree temperatures, wind, and rain.
BSM never managed to score and even though the game was forced into a shoot-out, the Red Knights remained confident. “We had practiced our penalty kicks and different shoot-out situations all week,” Erin Katopodis said, “I knew we could do it.” Coach Helling-Christy added, “Plus we have a very good keeper, Maddie Jobe, so we count on her making at least one save.” Jobe came through for the team, making a great save of the Knight’s last penalty kick to clinch the win. Red Knights Laura Kosch, Melissa Borer, Maddie Bergh, and Anne Huber all made successful shots against STMA’s Breann Fitzgerald.
Looking forward to the game against Holy Angels, the team remains optimistic despite the fact that they lost to Holy Angels 1-0 earlier in the season. “It was a very tight game. We feel we have something to prove and have a good chance of doing that,” Coach Helling-Christy said. “We want revenge,” Jobe said.
Going into the rest of the state tournament, the team believes they have a good chance to be successful, relying heavily on the fact that many players have state tournament experience. Their main strategy is to focus on each game individually and not look ahead to future ones. “However, we feel that we have as good a chance as any of the other three teams of winning the tournament. We will need to play our best soccer,” Coach Helling-Christy said.

In an extremely tough semi-final state game, the Red Knights girls soccer team fought hard against the Holy Angels Stars during all 112 minutes of play, going once again into double overtime. Slightly reminiscent of their last game, neither team managed to score a goal by the end of two regulation 40-minute halves. “We knew it would be a tight game and would come down to the wire,” Coach Scott Helling-Christy said.
As many of their games this year have been defensive wins, the Red Knights’ strategy had been to move the ball around and try to get in more shots. “We were just waiting for a chance to score,” Coach Helling-Christy said. Unfortunately for BSM, two minutes into the second overtime half, the Stars scored on a corner kick redirected and headed in by Morgan Rethlake. “We knew that if [the Stars] scored, it would be because of something like a corner kick or throw in,” Coach Helling Christy said.
The Red Knights undoubtedly played well despite their loss in overtime. “We played incredible, Holy Angels just got lucky in overtime,” senior captain Anne Huber said. The Red Knights seemed to control the ball for the first part of the game, keeping pressure on the Holy Angels defense. “We stayed with them,” said juniors Casy Teichert, “They really had no advantage during the game.” The whole team fought hard for possession of the ball, and in the second half, Melissa Borer refused to give it up, ending with both players on the ground.
Although the Stars got a lot more shots– ten during regulation time compared to the BSM’s three– the Red Knights did a good job of controlling the defense and making drives toward the goal. The Stars’ shots put a lot of pressure on BSM goalie, Maddie Jobe, but she held up well with six saves during the game, including an amazing high-pressure save with 1:30 left on the clock of regulation time. “There’s no doubt that [Jobe] is great, we rely on her a lot,” Coach Helling-Christy said.
Even though Benilde-St. Margaret’s mostly defensive team struggled to score, they did have four shots during the game with a great kick by Casey Teichert four minutes into the second half. After receiving the ball, she went around the Stars defender to get a kick over their entire back line. “We definitely gave Holy Angels a harder game then they were expecting. It was really close,” junior Erin Katopodis said.
Despite the fact that they are now fighting for third place instead of first, the Red Knights are looking forward to playing the Rochester Lourdes on Tuesday. “It’ll definitely be a good game, but we’re confident we can come out with a win,” sophomore Kackie Dankbar said. After finishing in fourth place in the state tournament last year, Coach Helling-Christy said they didn’t want to repeat that outcome, “We definitely don’t want to finish like last year. We want to leave the dome with a medal and we’ll play hard tomorrow [October 28] to try to do that.”[slideshow=35]